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Vegan Bento Boxes! Nut Free & Gluten Free Back to School Recipes!



(upbeat music) – Hey munchies! We're back with bentos and this is actually a very highly requested episode just in time for back to school, nut-free bentos I've got two lunch boxes and one snack box with not only nut-free, but also vegan, gluten free, and of course, if it's vegan, it's also dairy free ideas to inspire your healthy eating journey

A lot of products I'm using today are from Thrive Market who we've teamed up with to bring you this video They are so awesome They're an online marketplace with a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone They offer organic and natural products at 25 to 50% below traditional retail prices And they ship right to your door

Grocery delivery is the best And today I have a link that can get you an extra 25% off your first purchase that is on top of their already awesome deals plus a free 30-day trial That discount is linked in the description Let's get to the first nut-free bento (upbeat music) I'm starting out with a Hawaiian pasta salad, vegan style

I am using this amazing pasta that I got on Thrive Market It's purple because the ingredients are red lentils, beets, carrots, and sweet potato That is literally it And they have other super food clean pasta options too I just had to try this one because it's purple which is my favorite color

It cooks up the same as regular pasta And for the pasta salad purposes, I just let it cool before making the whole recipe It turns more red once it's cooked which is pretty neat For the dressing, I mixed coconut or another non-dairy yogurt of choice, with Dijon mustard, pineapple juice which I got from a can of pineapple chunks, garlic powder and salt Then I can add in my cooked pasta, those pineapple chunks that I got the juice from, red bell pepper, diced sweet pickles, carrots, and green onion

There are so many fun things about this The color, the sweet and savory flavors, the textures of the vegetables give it a nice crunch, and if you aren't vegan and wanted to add a little bit of extra protein to keep it a classic Hawaiian, you could do some diced ham too Pasta salad is great for lunch because it doesn't need to be warm, I love it I'm getting some nutrition in with broccoli and grape tomatoes And here's a tip

If you don't love raw broccoli, blanch the broccoli by just adding florets to boiling water for a quick minute or two until they're vibrant green and then remove So you're not cooking them until they're mushy They're still firm but not as crazy crisp as raw For a lot of people, this helps broccoli be more palatable and I like to add this to my lunch with some of those grape tomatoes and a side of ranch for dipping Thanks to Thrive Market, I was able to find this vegan ranch and if you watched my channel before, you know I'm not generally nuts about vegan dressing alternatives, because a lot of times they are packed with inflammatory oils and processed ingredients but this brand is made with avocado oil

It's clean, no added sugar and totally tastes like ranch Thanks Thrive Market For a fruit, I'm adding an apricot which is perfect for on-the-go situations like lunch But you could, of course, use an apple, clementine, or anything else that you don't need to prep to enjoy For a snack, I'm adding in tiger nuts

Wait, did I just say nuts? In a nut-free bento? Tiger nuts are actually nut-free A tiger nut is a small root vegetable, not a nut And they have a naturally sweet and nutty taste They're also packed with iron You can eat them straight out of the bag, crunchy and delicious, or some people like to soak them in water to soften

If you are in need of a nut-free snack and still want that crispy crunch, tiger nuts, baby Thanks to Thrive Market for helping me find these too For a sweet but healthy snack option in this bento, I'm making a nut-free granola oat bar I start with a few super ripe bananas, you want them for sure, brown and spotty so they are much sweeter and then mash those up If your bananas aren't super sweet, you may wanna add sweetener to this recipe because it's not meant to be dessert, but you can of course, add it if you like

To that, I stir in some vanilla extract In my food processor or blender, I pulse rolled oats I got these from Thrive Market as well and I love it because they are organic and certified gluten free which you should always check for if you're using oats as a gluten free option Then, I stir that into my banana mixture along with dried cranberries, mixed raisins, sunflower seeds, papita or pumpkin seeds, coconut shreds, hemp hearts, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, or you could use chocolate chips for more sweetness, cinnamon, and salt Stir well

This will be a heavy dough (upbeat music) Then we can add it to a baking pan lined with foil and spread it out until it's even and compact Bake until firm and golden And cool completely before slicing into bars (upbeat music) This tastes like a granola bar but there doesn't have to be nuts

All of those mix-ins could be nuts if you wanted but there are a ton of nut-free mix-ins that are crunchy like seeds or naturally sweet dried fruit So this recipe is super versatile and healthy enough to be breakfast Box one, how I love you so Colorful, nutritious and not a single nut Or any dairy, gluten or animal protein

Pretty neat Onto our second bento box lunch (upbeat music) I'm starting with a sunbutter banana sandwich Uncrustable style Because food is fun

You can use any bread, wheat, or gluten free, whatever your dietary preferences call for, but I like to roll the bread out just a bit to make it easier to work with To keep this nut-free, I am using sunflower seed butter which I got from Thrive Market The only ingredient is sunflower seeds which I love and it's a great alternative to peanut or any other nut butter in sandwiches, baking, and cooking I add a layer to each side One thicker than the other

The thinner layer is just to help hold it together I also mash up some bananas for a homemade and sugar-free banana jam And I add that on top of the thicker side of the sunbutter Then, I can put the sandwich together I use a round cookie cutter to cut out the sandwich

It's already sealed shut but I'm gonna help it out by pinching with my fingers and crimping with a fork to get that uncrustable look So fun and tasty I'm including air popped popcorn as a savory snack It is a whole grain after all and if it isn't smothered with fat and excess of salt or sugar, it can totally be a healthy option For fruit, I'm sharing something I haven't done before but I'm currently loving, roasted grapes

On a sheet pan, I toss grapes, red work better than green due to their water content, with oil, a pinch of salt, and I also like cinnamon but you could use any spices you prefer Savory, totally works too I love using thyme or balsamic Into the oven they go until blistered and caramelized on the outside The inside will be juicy like jam

They're great warm but also cooled off later on Such a fun way to switch up our fruit I've got bell pepper strips and hummus for a vegetable Don't feed me bell peppers plain but I can dip them all day long And some dried apples as a sweet snack thanks to Thrive Market

Once again, the only ingredient is apples I love when I can find clean, packaged items It makes me so happy Bento number two is in the bag Or a box

This lunch keeps healthy eating interesting and enticing with some super easy recipes and tips Last, I've got a snack box for you next with some more fun ideas that you can incorporate into your own lunches however you need (upbeat music) I'm starting with these curry roasted chickpeas I take drained and rinsed chickpeas and dry them off with paper towels Then I add them to a pan lined with parchment and toss with oil, curry powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne for a kick, if desired

Use your favorite spices (upbeat music) Into the oven they go to roast Cool completely before devouring because they will crisp up more as they cool Crispy, crunchy and curry flavored, yes please The next snack are my chocolate banana blender muffins

(upbeat music) First I make my flax egg I take ground flaxseed and water and mix it together Let that sit for just a few minutes and it will thicken and gel to your perfect vegan baking egg substitute Into a blender, I add two super ripe bananas, more of these Thrive Market gluten free rolled oats, the same sunflower seed butter, also from Thrive But this recipe will also work with any nut butter if you don't need it to be nut-free

Along with cocoa powder, that flax egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt That all gets blended which makes this recipe so flipping easy And then we can just distribute the mixture into our mini muffin tin and bake Not only are these nut-free and nutritious, they are really hard to stop eating (upbeat music) So load them into your box because you'll wish you had more when they're gone

These are also in my new eBook filled with vegan recipes But the recipe is also linked below in the description box Next, I've got some sticky rice chips from Thrive Market There are a ton of packaged snacks on Thrive Market so take a browse But these caught my eye because they do have a little bit of sugar, two grams total per serving, but they are also sweetened with watermelon juice which is pretty neat

So I couldn't resist and had to try That's the cool thing about Thrive Market though There are so many things I never knew existed that can be found and experimented with and keep my healthy lifestyle exciting If you're looking for a way to make veggies more fun, try cutting them differently I'm loving this cringle cutter

I'll link it in the description but it just makes veggies like carrots and cucumber take on a new enticing shape and it's important to switch it up to keep things interesting, for me personally I'm serving those with guac because I am not typically a raw veggies person unless there's dipping involved And there is box number three Snacks galore Thanks to Thrive Market for making this gluten free, dairy free, vegan episode possible

If you are following a specific dietary lifestyle of preference, Thrive Market makes it really easy to search through different values They've got paleo, gluten free, raw, vegan and more as well as qualities like non-GMO, fair trade certified, BPA free, and more And FYI, they do sell everything, not just food and snacks, but also supplements, personal care products, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, non-toxic beauty products, home goods, trust me, it's worth the peruse I hope you guys enjoyed this bento box episode Let me know your favorite recipe in the comments below

If you want more nut-free options, definitely thumbs up this video and subscribe so you can be notified I'll see you next week and remember, it's all a matter of mind over munch

Source: Youtube

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